A 42-year-old woman believed to be the biological mother of two children found dead inside suitcases in New Zealand has been arrested in connection with their murders.
On Thursday morning, the suspect was arrested and taken into custody in Ulsan, South Korea.
“The arrest warrant was issued by Korean Courts as a result of a request by NZ Police for an arrest warrant under the extradition treaty between New Zealand and the Republic of Korea,” New Zealand Detective Inspector Tofilau Fa’amanuia Vaaelua said in a statement Thursday.
Photographs show the woman covering her face with her coat as officers escorted her into the Ulsan police station, where she will be interrogated by prosecutors. As reporters asked whether the woman would confess, she repeatedly said, “I didn’t do it.”
The remains of two children aged 7 and 10 years old were found inside suitcases bought by a New Zealand family at an abandoned goods auction. Investigators believe that the children had been dead for at least three to four years.
Authorities have identified both children; however, their names remain unknown upon the request of the children’s family.
Park Seung-hoon, an official at the National Police Agency, stated that the Seoul High Court will undergo a review to determine whether to extradite the suspect. Although an official date has not been set, the decision must be made within the next two months.
“To have someone in custody overseas within such a short period of time has all been down to the assistance of the Korean authorities and the coordination by our (New Zealand) Police Interpol staff,” Vaaelua said.